Just In

Electrician at Nchanga smelter electrocuted, cheats death
AN electrician for a named contractor at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is nursing electrical wounds at Nchanga South hospital after being electrocuted at Nchanga Smelter in Chingola today.
The electrician was undertaking repairs as part of the shut down works at the Nchanga Smelter when he got electrocuted.
KCM’s Nchanga smelter had paralysed its production following a metal leak at the Flash Smelting Furnace on April 19.
KCM public relations manager Joy Sata confirmed the incidence to The Independent Observer in a statement of the accident which has happened in the morning.
“KCM wishes to advise that there was an electrical incident in which a contractor employee sustained burns following an electrical flush at the Smelter.
“KCM advanced its 15 day maintenance shutdown of Nchanga Smelter to coincide with the current shutdown.Mined metal production remains unaffected by the smelter shutdown. Smelter production is expected to resume within four weeks, and H1 smelter production as per company plan is expected to be unaffected.” she said.
Investigations to ascertain the cause of accident had since been launched.
 HIV break through: Scientists believe they’re ‘on brink’ of a cure for HIV
April 29---A breakthrough in the search for a cure for HIV will come “within months”, researchers believe. 
Danish scientists are expecting results showing that it will be possible to find a cure that is both affordable and can be provided to large numbers of people.
They are running clinical trials to test a “novel strategy” in which the HIV virus, which causes Aids, is stripped from human DNA and destroyed by the immune system.
It has already been found to work in laboratory tests and the scientists are now conducting human trials.
The technique involves releasing the HIV virus from “reservoirs” it forms in DNA cells, bringing it to the surface of the cells. Once it comes to the surface, the body’s immune system can kill the virus through being boosted by a “vaccine”.
In vitro studies – those that use human cells in a laboratory – of the new technique proved so successful that in January, the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12-million Danish kroner to pursue clinical trials with human subjects.
Dr Ole Sogaard, a senior researcher at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark who is leading the study, said: “I am almost certain that we will be successful in releasing the reservoirs of HIV.
“The challenge will be getting the patient’s immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”
Fifteen patients are taking part in the trials, and if they are found to have been cured of HIV, the process will be tested on a wider scale.
The technique uses drugs called HDAC inhibitors, more commonly employed in treating cancer.
It is also being researched in Britain, but studies have not yet moved on to the clinical trial stage – The Sunday Telegraph
Ethiopian Airlines relaunches 787 Dream liner fleet
ETHIOPIAN Airlines has relaunched its 787 Dreamliner fleet that also services the Zambian route with a direct flight from Addis Ababa to Lusaka.

The 787 Dreamliner fleet was grounded three months ago by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after a problem was detected on the aircraft's battery system.

But following the FAA's approval of the improved battery system, Ethiopian Airlines yesterday became the first airline to resume Dreamliner services.
Ethiopian Airlines Senior Vice President for Global Sales Esaya Woldemariam Hailu said Africa's fastest growing airline relaunched its 787 Dreamliner fleet with a flight to Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr Hailu said after the relaunch 787 Dreamliner fleet would continue servicing the airline's flagship routes including Lusaka which was among the first destinations the much sought-about aircraft first landed in Africa.

"We were told that most of Ethiopian passengers couldn't wait for our 787 fleet to be flying again, the good news is that we are the first carrier to resume 787 services," he said.

He said the Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner fleet did not suffer any technical hitch but that the airline ground operations in compliance with authorities.

Mr Hailu said safety was the airline's priority and that even the decision to resume the 787 Dreamliner was arrived at on approval from technicians.

"The FAA approved the improvements to the 787 battery system. Dreamliner is back to provide unrivalled passenger comfort and a revolutionarry flying experience," he said.

The relaunch of the Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner created as much hype with the world media swamping Addis Ababa airport to witness the giant aircraft make its way from the hangar.
The Japanese Government on Friday also gave a green light to airlines in the Far East country with 787 Dreamliner service to start using their fleet.

The move follows the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to allow 787s to fly again effective Friday after approving Boeing’s modified battery system last week, even though the root cause of the problem has not been found. 
Transport minister Akihiro Ota said on Friday morning that multiple measures have been taken to eliminate fire risks, playing down any remaining safety concerns.

He said in an effort to restore the trust of the flying public, the ministry will ask ANA and JAL to apply voluntary safety measures, such as enhancing monitoring of battery voltage.

Aviation authorities worldwide grounded the 787 after one operated by ANA made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture on January 16th  due to smoke in the cockpit.
Newly declared Kapiri Mposhi PF Member of Parliament Hon Eddie Musonda is lifted by his surpporters after being declared the winner at the kapiri Mposhi Civic centre
Delegates, chairperson ‘quarrel’ over land article
The articles on land and the classification of land in the draft constitution today caused strong arguments among delegates and between the delegates and the chairperson at the ongoing national constitution convention.
Ms Kapulu
This was after Vice Chairperson of the convention Lillian Kapulu ruled that the articles and clauses that provide for state land be retained while some delegates wanted them amended and not relegated to subsidiary legislation as recommended by the thematic group.
Confusion erupted when the thematic group on land, property, environment and natural resources wanted some clauses that define state land to be relegated to the subsidiary legislation while the house rejected the amendments which the chairperson interpreted as a sign that they have retained the clause without amendments.
Ms Kapulu had a tough time to control delegates who started shouting uncontrollably without following order after the acclamation vote was ruled in favor of those who rejected the amendments to the article.
After minutes of disorderly, the chairperson called for another vote which went in favor of those that wanted the clause retained.
In their debates, delegates feared that clause 1 (c), (d) and (f) which they wanted to amend in order to protect ordinary Zambians will leave people of Luapula, North-Western and Western Provinces without land as most parts of these provinces have either mineral deposits, gas, oil, national parks and forests, river basins or other natural flowing water resources.
Chief Chipepo, who debated emotionally, disclosed that his people have at some point been victims of displacement due to some land being declared state land and noted that ceremonies such as Kuomboka of the Lozi people of Western Province might be affected if the water basins and rivers are declared state land.
The traditional leader’s argument was supported by another traditional leader, Katele Kalumba, who also felt that land should be solely for Zambia. Most delegates argued that foreigners should not own land even when the house was considering other topics on land.
Kalomo Member of Parliament, Request Muntanga, who frequently interrupted the debate and the chairperson, noted that land issues should be taken seriously as they have potential to cause war and conflict in the country. 
Mr. Muntanga land should be given to the people while Lands Minister Wylbur Simuusa and other delegates argued that land should be classified as state land.  
The house voted on the three clauses and retained all of them without amendments.
Clause 1 (c), (d) and (f) of article 296 describes state land as land held, used or occupied by any state institution nor local authority, land on or under which minerals, gas and mineral oils are found. 
The clause further defines state land as land occupied by or through which any natural resource passes including gazetted or declared national forests, game reserves, river basins and water catchment areas, rivers and other natural flowing water resources, national parks, animal sanctuaries, natural and cultural heritage sites and specially protected areas.
April 15
Crime round up 
On the Copperbelt Province, a 33 year old man died on the spot after he failed to negotiate a curve and overturned due to excessive speed.
The accident occurred on 14th April 2013 around 04:00 hours along Mindolo Road near Kitwe Stream.

Involved was a motor vehicle Volvo Truck registration number CB 82 JVGP, Trailer number CD04 WGBP and CC95XRGP, a property of sabot, driven by Mateta Lloyd.

The accident happened when the motor vehicle was moving from Southern to Western direction and in the process the driver failed to negotiate a curve and overturned.

The body of the deceased is lying in Kitwe Central Hospital Mortuary awaiting postmortem.

In another development in Central Province, a 25 year old man identified as Davis Chansa died on the spot after sustaining fatal injuries in the accident which occurred on 14th April, 2013 around 14:00 hours at Tazara Fly over Bridge.

Involved was a motor vehicle Toyota Mark II, registration number ACJ 9039 driven by Gondwe Paul aged 25 of Kapiri Mposhi Girls Technical High School who was driving from the Northern to Southern direction with two passengers on board.

The accident happened when the driver lost control of the motor vehicle due to inexperience which went to the extreme right and overturned several times. 

The driver Gondwe Paul and the other passenger aged 28 Victor Matimba sustained minor injuries they were treated and have since been discharged.

The driver has since been charged with two counts of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving contrary to section 161 of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 and unlicensed driver contrary to section 56 of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 and will appear in court soon. 

The body of the deceased is lying in Kapiri Mposhi District Hospital Mortuary awaiting postmortem.

In Lusaka Province, a 41 year old woman of house number 1559, Shadreck area Matero died on the spot after being hit by a motor vehicle.

The accident happened on 14th April, 2013 around 12:40 hours along Chitanda Road near Kachinka bar in Matero.

Involved was a Motor Vehicle, Toyota Corolla registration number ABC 8656 driven by Harrison Phiri of unknown house number Shadreck area Matero. Also involved were four pedestrians:-

-         Vera Chipakusa aged 40 who sustained serious injuries
-         Joyce Phiri aged 41   sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot.

-         Two children aged between 1 and 3.
The accident happened when the driver failed to keep to his near side hence went to hit the pedestrian.

The driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving contrary to section 161 of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 and will appear in court soon.

The body of the deceased is lying in U.T.H Mortuary awaiting postmortem.

April 14, 2013
In Eastern Province, a 22 year old man has been apprehended in connection with the death of his 15 year old wife.

The incident occurred on 12th April, 2013 around 08:00 hours at Malima Village, Chief Madzimawe, Chipata District.

The incident happened when the deceased, aged 15, of the above address took some medicinal substance in an attempt to terminate her three month old pregnancy. She died on the way to the Hospital when she was being rushed by her husband Dickson Banda of Malima Village, Chief Madzimawe in Chipata District. Dickson is being held to help with investigations while the body of the deceased is in Chipata General Hospital Mortuary awaiting Postmortem


Dr Canisius Banda for UPND vice presidency
Dr Banda
Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Chairperson for Health Dr Canisius Banda is expected to take up the position of vice-president in UPND.

The Independent Observer is reliably informed that Dr Banda will formally join UPND next week and his appointment as vice-president for political affairs announced then.

According to UPND insiders, former Kankoyo PF MP Percy Chanda will take up the position of chairperson for labour in the UPND.

The youth chairman will be Rabson Chilufya, who was the party candidate in the last parliamentary by-election in Mpongwe.

                                                  THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA 


                             Press Release

LUSAKA, 11th April, 2013FOLLOWING numerous queries that we have continued to receive from the media regarding the statement that was issued by Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Hon. Mwansa Kapeya on Tuesday, 9th April, 2013 on His Excellency Rupiah Bwezani Banda’s abortive trip to Kenya, we now wish to respond.

To begin with, the statement appears to have been hurriedly constructed without much reflection. The government is saying that they stopped the former President from travelling because he would have arrived in Nairobi a few hours after newly-elected Kenyan President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta’s swearing-in ceremony which took place that very Tuesday, 9th April, 2013.

Whilst it is true that former President Banda was due to attend festivities and activities connected with President Kenyatta’s inauguration, one should realise that these festivities and activities are not restricted to only the swearing-in ceremony.

It is much like telling someone who seeks leave to attend a funeral upcountry that they will not be given leave to go because they will arrive a few hours after the burial. There is a lot that happens at an inauguration apart from the actual swearing-in ceremony, just like a funeral is not only about the internment of the body.

The reasons given by the Deputy Minister are extremely lame when you take into account the following facts:

1.                   The request for the former president’s passport was made in good time to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on Friday, 5th April, 2013.

2.                   The DPP promised to get back that same day, but by 17:00 hours he had not responded to the urgent request despite several reminders that the matter was urgent.

3.     Over the weekend, the DPP  did even bother to respond to calls placed to him over the same even though it was clear that time was of the essence.

4.  The former President was left with no option but to apply to the Court on Monday, 8th April, 2013 for the release of his passport to travel to Kenya.

5.  The Court on Monday granted the Order and the lawyers started chasing after the personnel from the Government Joint Investigations Team to secure the release of the passport but only managed to do so late on Monday afternoon.

6.  The Order from the Court in the relevant section read, “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED and DIRECTED that the passport being held by the Government Joint Investigation Team be released to the Accused person immediately to enable him travel to Kenya.”

7. The passport was not released immediately as Ordered and the first available flight was the one he booked, Kenyan Airways flight KQ724 which was scheduled to depart Lusaka at 11:00 hours the following day.

8.  The Order from the Court had envisaged that former president Banda could be out of the country up to Monday, 15th April 2013.

9.                   It is unheard of for immigration officials to ask a Zambian national leaving the country why they are going out. All that is required of them is to see if one has a valid passport.

10.               The Immigration official at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport clearly stated that he was acting on instructions from his superiors.

11.              The immigration officials, or even the Minister of Home Affairs, had no right to question the Order given by the Court, which was clear and unambiguous in allowing the former President to travel to Kenya.

12.               The immigration officials at the airport have given different reasons for stopping H.E. Rupiah Banda from those advanced by Hon. Kapeya. To compound things further, the Acting President Edgar Lungu has provided a third version.

13.               The question as to whether the immigration officials acted on their own initiative or followed orders from above is an important issue which has been left unclear by the conflicting government accounts.

What is worrying is that the Executive feels that they are entitled to overrule a judicial pronouncement, and this does not augur well for the Rule of Law and investor confidence in the protection of the law in Zambia.

Another very worrying aspect is the question of whether or not the investigations against the former President are fair and independent.

From the statement by the Deputy Minister to the effect that, “The country is aware that Mr Rupiah Banda was warned and cautioned by the GJIT for many other offences in which he is due to be arrested” clearly shows that the investigators are being directed by politicians and not acting impartially and fairly.

Such a statement that the former President was going to be arrested should have come from the investigators and a politician.

This goes against the international norms that investigators should never receive directives from political players. This is a clear abrogation of the Rule of Law and independent and fair investigations.

 Arrested Gay Rights Activist Sues State

Paul Kasonkomona
Human and gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona has sued government for alleged unlawful detention.

Through his lawyers of SNB legal practitioners, Kasonkomona is claiming damages saying he is suffering false imprisonment.

He is also demanding damages for mental distress and injury.
In his statement of claim filed in the Lusaka high court, Kasonkomona claims police have been delaying to give him his tuberculosis and anti-retro viral drugs ARVs.
He says this puts his life at risk as it is against his medication timetable.
ECZ will print ballot papers in UK 

Electoral Commission of Zambia will print the ballot papers for the Lukulu and Kapiri parliamentary by elections in the United Kingdom. But when MMD printed ballot papers in South Africa it was a bigger issue with PF, Civil society, some sections of the media and the NGOs. They said the country had the capacity to print the ballot papers. They accused MMD of wanting to rig the elections. 

ECZ public relations manager Chris Akufuna announced the development this evening during the main evening news of ZNBC.

Soccer update'
Full Time: Orlando Pirates 2-1 Zanaco. 

FIFA orders FAZ to pay Bonetti $400, 000

World football governing body FIFA has ordered the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to pay its former coach Dario Bonetti $400, 000 for wrongful dismissal.

Sources said FIFA made the order yesterday on Friday afternoon after close to two years of looking at the case.
Dario Bonetti

The Italian coach was fired by FAZ in October 2011 just after he qualified Chipolopolo to the Africa Cup which they later won under Herve Renard.

Bonetti stated then that FAZ breached its contract with him and he deserved to be compensated. He threatened to go all the way to FIFA but FAZ dismissed his ‘ranting’ and said he can do as he pleases. FAZ claimed Bonetti agreed to end his contract.
“I don’t like the way everything has happened in the last 15 days. We must talk about what is right in the contract and the contract says I am binding until July 15, 2012,” Bonetti stated.

Bonetti was at first demanding US$ 1.6 million compensation from the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) through FIFA.

He filed his claim on November 21, 2011. “Last Monday I sent all the documentation to FIFA, to FAZ, to the FIGC (Italian federation) asking for US$ 1, 650, 000,” Bonetti said.

Bonetti said he was claiming wrongful dismissal from the FAZ whom he alleged fired him without furnishing him any reasons. 

“This is amount that (FAZ President) Mr. Kalusha Bwalya and FAZ have to pay me for the African Cup qualification and for firing me immediately after without reasons,” the Italian said.

But FAZ said they have not received any letter or claim from Bonetti and that as far as the association was concerned the Italian’s matter was closed. 

FAZ communications manager, Erick Mwanza said in Lusaka that the association had nothing else to do with Bonetti because the separation was through mutual consent.

“Let him (Bonetti) just watch from a distance, we want him to marvel how a team can perform,” Mwanza said.

Bonetti was sacked just 48 hours after securing Zambia’s qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup follow a scoreless home draw against Libya on October 8 at Nchanga Stadium in Chingola.

                         RB cautioned 
Former President Rupiah Banda has been warned and cautioned over the controversial Baobab land in Lusaka's Makeni area by a joint team of investigators.

The former President arrived at the DEC offices at 10:20  hrs in the company of his administrative assistant Mikatazo Wakumelo.

Mr Banda's immunity was stripped on March 15th 2013 to allow him answer to allegations of abuse of authority of office and money laundering activities.

He was on March 25th 2013 arrested for abuse of authority in relation to a Nigerian oil deal and later released on bail. The matter is currently in court.
North Korea 'ratifies' nuclear strike against US

North Korean army says it has final approval for nuclear attack on the US, the official KCNA news agency says. 

This comes shortly after the Pentagon said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile-defense system to Guam.

"Merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified," said a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army, according to the statement released by the state KCNA news agency.

"We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating US hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people."

The White House has responded by urging Pyongyang to stop making threats, describing the statement as “provocative.”

"We've seen today's statement by North Korea, again making unhelpful and unconstructive threats," said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. “It is yet another offering in a long line of provocative statements that only serve to further isolate North Korea from the rest of the international community and undermine its goal of economic development."

Earlier on Wednesday Pentagon said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile-defense system to Guam to defend American military bases in the Pacific as a "precaution " following North Korea threats.

The DoD has announced that top defense officials approved the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, or THAAD, which includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, a AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system, Reuters reports.

"The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests," a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

It has been stressed that the future deployment of the system is for protecting American interests in the region and will not reach South Korea’s territory.

The Pentagon said the batteries, which according to advocates will cost up to $800 million per battery, will be deployed in the coming weeks; however, no exact date was given, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Pentagon initially considered the deployment of the first of the batteries in 2015, however, recently escalated tensions and threats from North Korea have influenced the plans, forcing the Defense Department to rethink its intentions.

The United States sees a "real and clear" danger from North Korea, given its nuclear and missile capabilities and bellicose rhetoric, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier Wednesday, shortly before the Pentagon's statement.

North Korea has recently threatened to target US and South Korea following new UN sanctions and joint military drills by the two allies.

Guam has become the most important US military base in Asia, housing its major airfield and an incoming contingent of US Marines.

Seoul-based correspondent Joseph Kim says the US pursues its own interests when getting more involved in the conflict. It “continuously monitor[s] and gain[s] more influence in the region.”
“They are technically trying to get back to East Asia to be able to counter China and its growing power in terms of the economy. And why not use North Korea?” Kim told RT.

As for the means the US chooses to achieve its ends, there are questions remaining as to the efficacy. Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock believes that North Korea’s actions are being misconstrued and that the American response to them is unbalanced and achieves the opposite result: 

“North Korea does not want to commit suicide. I believe [it] is doing all this so it can get to a point where it can negotiate some kind of peace agreement with the United States”, he said. “They look up and they see these B-2 bombers and that’s an absolute reminder of danger of war with the United States, but it also gives the monolithic authoritarian state the [opportunity] to show to the North Korean people that indeed there is a threat. So, by escalating it to this point, the United States is playing right into Kim Jong-un’s hands.”


Mealie meal smuggling spreads like bush fire
Mealie Meal smuggling has continued to spread like bushfire with Livingstone joining the alarming levels at which the commodity is being illegally traded.
The vice is openly being perpetrated with seemingly little or no attention from the authorities.
According to MUVI TV NEWS along Mosi-o-tunya road near Shoprite found Zambians and Zimbabweans packing the commodity in big sacks and covering them with black plastics.
Others are putting the mealie-meal in crates as a way of disguising the product in readiness for smuggling into the neighbouring Zimbabwe.
And one of the Zimbabwean smugglers spoken to confirmed that the commodity was being supplied to that Zimbabwe.
Just recently, Kitwe District staff officer, Joseph Chitabo told a delegation of Home Affairs officials that Police are fearful of losing their jobs in arresting those perpetrating the smuggling of mealie meal into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC-alleging that those involved in the vice were senior government officials.
Akalimba lands grand mum in trouble POLICE in Ndola have arrested a grand mother of Mushili Kansengu and her neighbour for causing the death of an infant who was alleged to have a speech limiting vein. Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela who confirmed the incidence said a six months old baby boy died after bleeding to death.
Ms Kanjela said the grand mother to the child suspected that the child had what is commonly known as “kalimba“a situation that is believed to lead to speech impeachment.
“Culturally such problem entails the cutting of the vein just below the tongue. The grandmother therefore took the child to a neighbour to have the child worked on. A razor blade was used in the act unfortunately the child bled to death.
“The body is in Ndola general hospital mortuary while the grandmother to the child and the neighbour Ademia Mbewe are in custody to help with investigations.

WICKED! HIV Positive Maid Puts Menstrual Blood Inside Food Of Her Employer’s 4-Year-Old Child

A 17-year-maid from was caught lacing the porridge of her employers’ four-year-old child with her own menstrual blood.
According to NewsDay, Pelagia Mureya, who is HIV-positive, “carried out the disgusting act several times until luck ran out.”
The ruse was discovered when her employer “noticed a drop of blood when her child was eating porridge, and investigated.”
Mureya was arrested in Mupandawana, Gutu district in southern Zimbabwe, and professed ignorance of the blood. But, NewsDay reported, “her inquisitive employer took the porridge, her child and the maid to Gutu Rural Hospital where tests confirmed it was Mureya’s menstrual blood.”
Mureya, who is from a village in Chinhoyi, was sentenced Saturday to 10 years in prison. There was no explanation given as to why she put blood into her employers’ child’s porridge.
Sata reshuffles at D/Ministers level
PRESIDENT Michael Sata has made changes at deputy ministerial level which has seen Youth and Sports Deputy Minister, John Kufuna, being transferred to Western Province as provincial minister.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah, announced in a Press statement that Mr Kufuna replaces Nathaniel Mubukwanu, who has been redeployed to the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the same capacity.
The president has also transferred Rayford Mbulu from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Labour in the same capacity.
Mr Mbulu would be in charge of Labour at the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Labour, while Forrie Tembo would be in charge of Information and Broadcasting.
“The Head of State says he is confident that the three deputy ministers will satisfactorily discharge the functions of their respective offices both to his expectations and of the Zambian people,” he said.
The changes are with immediate effect.
UN chief hail Govt's graft fight
THE United Nations supports Zambia in the fight against corruption and the nation should ensure that there are no “sacred cows” in the crusade, visiting Secretary General of the world body, Ban Ki-Moon has said.
Mr Ban said the UN and the international community will support Zambia in the fight by strengthening legislation, empowering people and their institutions. He warned that corruption was a cancer that, if unchecked, would negatively affect democracy and service delivery to the needy.
The UN chief has also disclosed that the body was impressed with Zambia’s adherence to democratic tenets urging other countries in the world to emulate Zambia.
He said with such an impressive democratic record, it was important that Zambia engaged in empowering women and young people in order to foster economic freedom and sustainable development.
Speaking when he addressed a special session of Parliament in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Ban said corruption deprived the citizenry of the much-needed development and that authorities should, therefore, ensure that laws were applied equally.
“Corruption is a cancer. Unchecked, it strikes at the very heart of democracy and the very ability to deliver to those in need. In this fight, there can be no sacred cows. There can be no parallel systems of justice-one for the poor and weak, another for the powerful and protected,” Mr Ban said.
Mr Ban said, as part of the fight against corruption, Zambia should ensure that it enacted a people drive constitution.
“Now you have embarked on a transformation agenda- a process for a new people driven constitution that will be a foundation for Zambia’s progress…a constitution that will stand the test of time. This offers Zambia an opportunity to lead once more by enshrining the highest standards of human rights and protection for all people-regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability,” Mr Ban said.
He also hailed Zambia for what he said was a pivotal role the country played in liberating other countries on the African continent, even at the expense of losing lives of its people, losing infrastructure as well as trade opportunities.
Mr Ban observed that deforestation was currently occurring at an alarming pace and that it was, therefore, imperative that Government exerted more efforts in fighting effects of climate change.
He pointed out that there was need to also expend efforts in working toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“Your economy is growing steadily, poverty is slowly declining. There has been progress in achieving some of the MDGs. Yet the benefits of development are not reaching all women, men and children of Zambia. We must use this time to make a big push on reducing maternal, under-five and infant mortality,” Mr Ban said.
He further said that the Government should continue exerting more efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS.
Mr Ban said that it was encouraging that Zambia has put in place legislation meant to mitigate Gender Based Violence (GBV).He said it was encouraging to note that Zambia had a far-sighted GBV Act.
He commended President Michael Sata for his efforts in fighting GBV.
“I am encouraged to learn that for the first time, the Zambia Police Service will be held by a woman. Just this month, I was proud to receive the credentials of your new representative to the UN, Dr Kasese Bota,” Mr Ban said.
Regardless of the achievements in having women in decision making positions, he said that there was still much that required to be done.
He noted that despite females representing 51 per cent of the population, their voice was not being heard. “Women’s representation in Parliament stands at 11 per cent, an all time low. Many of your neighbours are setting the trend not only for the continent, but the world. I know Zambia can join them,” he said.
He advised that the country’s constitution should ensure that minimum representation for women was achieved in all decision making positions.
Mr Ban praised Zambia for her efforts in helping maintain peace in neighbouring countries citing the over 300 Zambians serving under the UN in Darfur, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He said that Zambia has made great strides in ensuring that its neighbors were liberated from the shackles of war. Some people in war-torn countries, he said, had found Zambia as a haven for peace.
“I am encouraged that your government is considering local integration, in addition to voluntary repatriation. This is a way of normalising the lives of those who came here decades ago and who want to remain and show strong binding ties,” Mr Ban said.
In moving a motion of thanks to Mr Ban’s address, Vice-President Guy Scott said Zambia would continue to support the efforts of the UN. He said this was in order to ensure that the UN succeeded in its endeavours of maintaining peace globally.
Dr Scott said that Zambia would continue working with the UN as the two were both determined to improve the well-being of the citizenry. Several members of Parliament contributed to the motion of thanks.
Mr Ban is today scheduled to meet President Sata, first Republiucan President, Kenneth Kaunda and will visit the Olympic Development Centre, among other activities.
Shikapwasha, Dr Phiri to foot ZNBC legal fees
FORMER Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Ronnie Shikapwasha and former permanent secretary Sam Phiri risk losing their gratuity if they do not pay close to K1 billion legal fees the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) owes SBN legal firm.
SBN represented the ZNBC when individuals sued the national broadcaster for airing documentaries by Mr Chanda Chimba III, dubbed ‘Stand up for Zambia’.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour Fackson Shamenda said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri have been surcharged about K900 million which they should pay SBN.
Mr Shamenda said if Gen. Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri fail to settle the bill, Government will withhold benefits owed to them.
Mr Shamenda said this will serve as big lesson to those currently serving in public office not to abuse their authority to underwrite political propaganda wars.
This follows investigations which have ascertained that the two instructed ZNBC to air the highly libelous documentaries on the agreement that the ministry would reimburse ZNBC expenses on retaining lawyers to defend the national broadcaster.
“The ministry is compiling more information to avail to the Attorney General and so this figure (K900 million) is likely to go up and the list of former public officers to be surcharged will also be extended beyond the two (Gen Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri), as a result,” Mr Shamenda said.
The minister said Attorney General Mumba Malila will communicate to the secretary to the treasury Fredson Yamba to inform the two former public officers to settle the fees.
He said Gen Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri deserve to be surcharged as they acted ‘improperly, irresponsibly and imprudently’ by authorising the airing of Mr Chimba’s documentaries which were directed at causing reputational injury on targeted individuals.
Mr Shamenda said according to investigations, On October 14, 2011, ZNBC management through then director general Eddie Mupeso wrote to Dr Phiri, informing the ministry that the national broadcaster had received a fee note from SBN legal practitioners, amounting to K257 million and K220 million for Michael Sata Vs ZNBC and others and Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Vs ZNBC, respectively.
The report states that Dr Phiri advised ZNBC management to air the documentaries and that the ministry would reimburse ZNBC the expenses on retaining lawyers to defend the corporation.
“The purpose of the correspondence from ZNBC was to request the office of the permanent secretary to make available funds to settle these legal fees, as per the ministry’s undertaking,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said following the communication, the ministry under the Patriotic Front (PF) government on November 17, 2011 wrote to Mr Malila seeking legal opinion on the matter with regards to public officers acting contrary to public interest.
“This was against a background that section 31 of the Public Finance Act Number 15 of 2004 provides for surcharging officers who are found to be in breach of this financial regulation.
“On November 21, 2011, Mr Malila asked for more information from the ministry as to who made the decision that Chanda Chimba’s libelous documentaries be aired and who instructed SBN legal practitioners to represent ZNBC,” the minister said.
Mr Shamenda said according to evidence available so far, Gen Shikapwasha and Dr Phiri have been singled out as some of the people who made instructions to ZNBC on the matter.
He said it is for this reason that Mr Malila advised the ministry that the surcharge procedure set out in section 31 of the Public Finance Act be invoked through the office of the secretary to treasury.
“This Government, which is committed to the fight against corruption, will not spend a ngwee on such careless programmes. Those responsible for authorising the airing of such programmes will bear the consequences,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said Government will engage the Attorney General to ascertain if the rest of the cases against ZNBC can be settled outside court.
“It is unlikely that SBN will continue to represent ZNBC on the rest of the cases because in the first place, they erred by engaging a private firm to represent the corporation because they could have used the Attorney General,” he said.
Chibuluma HR clobbered
PROTESTING workers at Chibuluma South Mine allegedly beat up company personnel officer and damaged the vehicle when he was distributing warning letters to the workers in the respective homes.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) senior trustee Leonard Phiri confirmed the incident in an interview yesterday in Kitwe that Bernard Phiri was alleged beaten by irate workers for distributing warning letters.
Mr Phiri said the personnel officer accompanied by a security officer who was also damaged by the workers were distributing letter warning that workers would cited for absenteeism if they did not report for work today.
He said the incident happened in Chibuluma Township on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Phiri said he could not estimate that damage caused as the matter was reported to the police who said they had not received the report.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo when contacted said she awaited a report as police officers were still investigation the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr Phiri said after a lengthy meeting on Tuesday night with management which ended around 22:00 hours, the union was able to convince to workers to resume work at the 14:00 hours shift yesterday.
Mr Phiri said the workers accepted to resume work on condition that general manager Jan Trouw resigned due to alleged uttering racial remarks to fellow management staff and the workers.
This was after Mr Phiri addressed the workers outside the plant around 11:00 hours.
“As a union, we pleaded with the workers to resume work today at 14:00 hours shift so that we can continue with negotiations to avoid further loss of production,” Mr Phiri said.
The protesting miners downed tools on Tuesday morning over management decision to award them a conditional 14 per cent salary increment.
A check by the Times at the mine plant found workers dispersing after being addressed by the union officials.
Efforts to get management failed as access to the mine plant by the reporter was denied and phones went not answered.
Times of Zambia/My Opinion
ZCID advises opposition MP's
The Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue (ZCID) has advised opposition members of parliament (MPs) to find amicable means of airing their grievances other than resolving to boycotts.
ZCID Acting Executive Directive Horrace Chilando who was commenting on the decision by opposition MMD and UPND MPs top walk out of parliament yesterday said such a move was retrogressive as it might cost the country.
He explained that past experience have seen that some important bills and laws have still been passed in the National Assembly even after some MPs walk out of the house.
He advised the MPs to follow procedures when handling issues that they could be dissatisfied with during the sittings in parliament.
Mr Chilando said this in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today.
He has however stated that the decision the opposition MPs took was within their democratic rights as they wanted to express how they felt about certain issues.
"What the Members of Parliament did yesterday is however within their democratic rights as they wanted to show the public that they are not happy with certain decisions in the house" he said.
Mr Chilando has further advised the MPs not to shun the United Nations (UN) Secretary General's addressed to the house when he comes to Zambia tomorrow.
He said the MPs should instead use this opportunity to address certain issues of concerns to the country.
He also appealed to all MPs to be level headed and put the country as top agenda before any other thing.
Mr Chilando stated that MPs should ensure that they make decisions that will benefit the majority of Zambians who voted them into office.
Opposition MMD and UPND MPs yesterday walked out of parliament after accusing government of constitutional breaches.
This was after the MPs were not satisfied with the decision speaker Patrick Matibini made in the two points of order raised by UPND MPs.
Muteteka backed in his calls for RB to resign
IMMEDAITE past national secretary of the troubled MMD Katele Kalumba and the party’s former administrative secretary Augustine Chapita have backed calls by the party’s national youth chairman Moses Muteteka that Mr Rupiah Banda should with immediate effect resign from the opposition party.
Mr Kalumba said in a telephone interview yesterday that the entire National Executive Committee (NEC) should accept that they had failed the general membership of the party and that they were responsible for the problems the party was facing.
He said the MMD leadership had failed to read the mood of the Zambian people and that they had stopped listening to the people.
“But you know for us here (Chiengi) we are a fishing community and we tell whether a fish is rotten from the head. The party can only be as good as the leadership.
The entire NEC must accept that they have failed.
“As of president Banda I speak with passion and believe that it is better for him to leave the party in the interest of himself, his family and the party in general.
The people who used to cheat him when he was Republican President have continued because they when to continue eating from him. They are like leaches,” he said.
Mr Kalumba said as long as Mr Banda remained in active politics the people cheating him would not leave him. He said president Banda should also leave the party so that he can continue to benefit from his constitutional benefits as a former Head of State.
Former party administrative secretary Chapita said the MMD had lost the last elections and was undergoing through the current problems because of Mr Banda’s poor mobilization leadership abilities.
Mr Chapita said the Mr Banda inherited a vibrant party from the late president Levy Mwanawasa.
“During his time as president he has never had time to meet with the party grassroots or its leadership.
Mr Mwanawasa would meet with the party organs at least every quarter, Mr Mwanawasa even used to visit the party secretariat but Mr Banda has never.
“At the time president Mwanawasa died the secretariat had eight employees but Mr Banda said lets reduce the workforce at the secretariat to four (4) because he could not manage t pay them. How did the late president manage,” he said.
MMD national youth chairman Moses Muteteka has called on president Banda to resign in the interest of the party.
When contacted for comment MMD National secretary Major Richard Kachingwe said Mr Muteteka was an indiscipline party member.
Maj Kachingwe said Mr Muteteka was part of the MMD NEC that decided that president Banda should continue in the interim as the party finds a successor.
“Mr Muteteka is just indiscipline, when you decide to join a party you must abide by its rules, the party has already started the process of identifying a successor to president Banda and he is one of them that has applied,” he said.
Meanwhile Mr Kachingwe accused Mr Kalumba and the former NEC members of running down the party.
He said when he assumed office as national secretary of the ruling party the party had died and had no structures.
“We had to embark on a recruitment d rive and the fruits we got in September are a as a result of their works,” he said.
He said even the debt that the MMD had in statutory fees was part of the liabilities that were left by the NEC in which Mr Kalumba served as national secretary.
Meanwhile some MMD senior official from Lusaka and central province has castigated Mr Muteteka for his recent utterances against the party.
Central province vice provincial secretary Goodson Visenge said the pronouncement by Mr Muteteka had no backing of the central province.
He said as a province they would support the position taken by the NEC that president Banda should continue as its interim leader.
“As a province we are disappointed with the utterances by Mr Muteteka especially that he hails from our province. If he has issues he knows the channels that he must follow,” he said.
Lusaka province vice chairperson Charles Mumena said Mr Muteteka should state clearly what problems he had with the former president.
“He is my brother and I want to advise him to respect elders, he must respect President Banda because he accorded him an opportunity to even be a deputy minister,” he said.
Opposition MPs walk out of parley
OPPOSITION members of Parliament (MPs) from the UPND and the MMD yesterday walked out of Parliament, a move they said was aimed at defending and upholding the Republican Constitution against alleged breaches by the Executive.
The opposition MPs walked out after Speaker, Patrick Matibini’s response to Kalomo MP, Request Muntanga (UPND), who had raised a point of order on the threats by the Executive against traditional leaders in Southern Province.
In his point of order, Mr Muntanga said the Republican Constitution guaranteed various freedoms and wondered whether the Government was in order to threaten traditional leaders in Southern Province with arrest for opposing the realignment of Chirundu and Ithezi Thezi.
Mr Muntanga wondered whether Southern Province Minister, Miles Sampa was in order to threaten traditional leaders as reported in the Sunday Times of February 19, 2012.
In response, Dr Matibini ruled that the Kalomo MP should take to the House, a substantial question so that he could get a response from the Executive. It was at this point that the opposition MPs trooped out of the House.
Briefing the Press after a caucus meeting of the opposition MPs within Parliament buildings, leader of the opposition in the House, Felix Mutati said the legislators had sworn to protect and defend the Republican Constitution.
Mr Mutati was flanked by Muchinga MP, George Kunda MMD); UPND Chief Whip, Garry Nkombo; Monze MP, Jack Mwiimbu (UPND); Nalikwanda MP, Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa (MMD) and Mr Muntanga.
"We want to give a proper statement on the decision taken by members of the opposition this afternoon; first of all, Honourable Mwiimbu raised a point of order. In his point of order, he made reference to the Constitution, Article 34 (2) (e) which gives powers to the President to create ministries," he said.
He said according to the Constitution, the President could only create a new ministry with the approval of the House.
He said last year, Vice-President, Guy Scott went to the House with some proposed ministries which were approved but that the President has proceeded to create new ones.
Mr Mutati said the transfer of the portfolio on tourism to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of labour to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting were done without the approval of the House.
He said the President had further created a new department of rural development and had subsequently appointed a deputy minister also without the approval of the House.
"We have pledged as Members of Parliament to uphold the Constitution and this action is to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia," he said.
Mr Mutati said in the point of order by Mr Muntanga, the Speaker should have ruled in a manner that recognised that there was a breach of the Constitution.
He said the walk-out was the first step and that the opposition legislators would explore other avenues under the Parliamentary Standing Orders and the Republican Constitution.
Asked whether they were also considering the option of impeaching the President, Mr Mutati said that was only but one option.
Meanwhile, the Speaker earlier directed the vice-president to issue a statement on the creation of new ministries.
The Speaker was ruling on a point of order by Mr Mwiimbu who wondered whether the Government was in order to create new ministries without Parliament’s approval. Political regalia banned
THE Ngoni royal establishment has banned wearing of political attire at this year’s Nc’wala traditional ceremony which would take place at Mtenguleni in Chipata District.
In an interview in Chipata yesterday, Chief Madzimawe said the move to ban political attire was aimed at bringing unity at the traditional ceremony.
Chief Madzimawe said any political party would not be allowed to put on any political material at the ceremony saying any person who is going to be found on political attire is going to be injected at the ceremony.
“We shall not allow any political party at the ceremony because we want unity to prevail,” he said. Chief Madzimawe said he was also happy with the preparations of this weekend ceremony.
President Michael Sata who was invited to grace the ceremony has instead delegated Vice President Guy Scott to officiate the ceremony.
Dr Scott will be accompanied by Geoffrey Mwamba (Defence minister), Given Lubinda (Foreign Affairs minister), Nkandu Luo (Local Government), Fackson Shamenda (Information minister), Sebastian Zulu (Justice minister) and Inonge Wina (Minister for Chiefs and Traditional Affairs).
Others are Charles Banda (provincial minister Eastern Province), Forrie Tembo (Information deputy minister), Effron Lungu (Foreign Affairs deputy minister), Isaac Banda (Mines deputy minister), Nicholas Banda (Agriculture deputy minister) and Joseph Lungu (Defence deputy minister).
And police have said they have put security measures at this year's ceremony. Eastern Province Deputy Commissioner of Police Anderson Chengo said this was to ensure that road accidents were avoided at the ceremony
Kagem workers protest as police prob Mufulira riot
UNIONSED workers at Kagem mining limited in Lufwanyama district yesterday protested over management’s decision to only allow them 30 minute lunch break.
Acting Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Charles Mukuka said in Kitwe that workers were aggrieved by the 30 minutes lunch break that management has given them.
“Our members have gone on a go slow at Kagem mine, they are demanding for an increase in the number of lunch hours, because they feel that 30 minutes is not adequate to have lunch,”
Mr Mukuka said.
Mr Mukuka urged management to address the plight of the workers.
He however appealed to workers to resume work and allow the union to continue with the collective bargaining process.
And Kagem Mining Limited manager for corporate affairs Jonas Mwansa said management was surprised at the workers’ move because negotiations were on going.
He said management had not refused to give the workers what they were demanding and it was premature for them to go on a work stoppage when the negotiations were still going on.
Mr Mukuka said production at the emerald mine had been badly affected and urged the workers to resume work immediately.
POLICE in Mufulira have launched investigations to establish why the residents ran amok, destroying two houses and shop belonging to a local business executive whom they accused of practicing ‘Satanism.’
The residents also damaged the police post after the business executive was whisked away for safety. Copperbelt police Chief Mary Tembo said in an interview yesterday in Kitwe that Criminal Investigation Detectives (CID) had started investigating the matter.
“The CIDs on the ground investigating the matter, although no arrest has been made,” Ms Tembo said.
Ms Tembo however said the business executive had gone into hiding for their safety.
The relatives of the business executive got incensed when a local court adjourned a case involving the business executive in which he alleged to have linked to the disappearance of a boy who died three year ago.
Relatives of the boy had accused the business executive of keeping the body to enhance his investment.
When the court adjourned the case because of the huge crowd in the premises, the residents got infuriated and resorted to destruction of property belonging to the named man.
And check at the house of the business executive found armed police officers in riot gear guarding the house because the owner had fled.
The roof and window panes were damaged. The residents also broke into the business executive hadware shop where looted goods before police moved in. THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has given the Zambia Government US$80 million to finally construct the long awaited Kazungula Bridge which has been on the drawing board for over 40 years. The project scope is to replace the existing Zambezi River Pontoon which often inconveniences the general public due to lack of regular maintenance and this has led to fetal accidents occurring when ferrying goods in transit. The total cost for the construction of the Bridge is estimated at $ 259.3 billion and is being co financed by AfDB, the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA), Government and other donors. Finance and National Planning minister Alexander Chikwanda said the long awaited construction of the bridge would help alleviate problems faced by travelling public and improve collection of the much needed taxes to support the Zambian Budget. The minister said this during the signing ceremony of the loan agreement between Government and the AfDB on the construction of Kazungula bridge held at the ministry of Finance and National Planning in Lusaka yesterday. Mr Chikwanda said the Bridge was expected to improve the efficiency of transit traffic through the Kazungula boarder leading to increased trade activities, improve regional connectivity of the North South Corridor and contribute to regional integration of the economies in the SADC region. “The Kazungula Bridge once completed would act as a catalyst in facilitating increased economic activities, not only between Zambia and Botswana but also in the whole SACD region and beyond,” Mr Chikwanda said. The minister assured AfDB that the Kazungula project would be implemented in accordance with the agreed procedures and standards stipulated in the loan agreement stating that Government was committed to ensuring that support provided by development partners was put to good use and in line with Government policy to fight poverty. H said the PF Government had instituted various interventions to curb misuse or misapplication of both domestic and external resources and it had exhibited strong commitment towards the fight against corruption emphasizing that any form of corruption would meet with the due process of the law without interference from the executive. Once constructed the bridge would comprise among others new tooled Road/ Rail Bridge, one stop boarder Post facilities and access roads to Kazungula boarder. The Bridge is a Multi National project on the North-South Corridor (NSC) within the SADC region and part of a corridor-long infrastructure improvement programme. And AfDB resident representative of the Bank in Zambia Freddie Kwesiga said during the same ceremony that bridge would reduce the transaction costs to enhance trade within this region. Dr Kwesiga said there was need to close Zambia and African Infrastructure gap and that the deficit within the infrastructure arena such as roads and bridges, limits trade access to markets and basic service competitiveness. He said such disadvantages hinder private sector investment which in turn reduces the opportunities for job creation and increased income especially in rural areas. He said there was need for integration and the removal of barriers of trade, the prospects for market integration are limited by cumbersome regulations and poor transport infrastructure among them. Dr Kwesiga said without integration most countries risk remaining dependent on the world economy as producer of primary commodities and importers of manufactured goods. He said Zambia’s strategic location within the heart of Southern Africa would enable the project have an impact on neighboring region including a diverse range of intended beneficiaries. He said the project would also lead to promotion of local industry in Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and would lead to a significant drop in consumer prices as regards agriculture products du to reduce in local transportation costs among others. THE Kitwe High Court has sentenced a 47 year old man to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling an imbecile girl. High court Judge Judy Mulongoti jailed Chawama Chitala of house number 31 Lukama Road, Soweto, in Chingola for defiling a 14 year old imbecile child on August 5 last year. The matter was referred to the High Court for sentencing. In sentencing him, Madam Justice Mulongoti said the lower court was on firm ground in convicting Chitala. She said she had considered Chitala’s mitigation that he was the first offender, married with children, but noted that the convict defiled an imbecile girl aged 14 years. “I have considered your mitigation; however I note that you defiled an imbecile aged 14 years. The Court below was on firm ground in convicting you and I support the conviction,” said the Judge. The girl’s mother who testified in the matter told the court that on the particular day, her other child informed her that the imbecile child was in the neighbours house where she was screaming. She told the court that she was informed that later Chitala, who was only dressed in boxer shorts, was seen holding the imbecile child’s hand and taking her out of his house. The court heard that after receiving the information, the girl’s mother went to check the girl’s private parts and found that her pants were torn and blood and feacal matter were coming out. In defense, Chitala said he went home around 12:00 hours and found a woman in his house. He said he did not know who the woman was and that was how he chased her because he had lost farm products in the past. Chitala said after chasing the woman from his house, he was surprised to see police officers at his house and detained him. He told the court that he did not know that the girl was an imbecile. In the same court, two men were separately sentenced to 10 years each for trafficking in psychotropic substances. Kayimba Chisala of Chingola and Enos Bwale of Kitwe were jailed 10 years each for trafficking in Narcotic drugs.

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